Ladilikan by Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet.
Bandcamp Link: Ladilikan

Trio de Kali is vocalist Hawa Diabaté, balafon player Fodé Lassana Diabaté, and bass n’gobi player Mamadou Kouyaté from Mali, Africa. They were brought together with the American string quartet The Kronos Quartet by Ethnomusicologist Lucy Durán. The arrangements of the songs for the groups were written by American musician Jacob Garchik.

Garchik and the Kronos Quartet make the wise choice of leaving the Trio da Kali in the driver’s seat for most of the tunes, working the quartet into the edges, adding harmony and textures to the pieces. I think, also, Garchik makes a wise move by sourcing his arrangement ideas from American musics whose roots lie in African traditions. Gospel and the blues, with a smattering of 20th Century Classical, primarily Copland.

The musical inspiration for the series of tunes came when a song Hawa Diabaté spontaneously sang to welcome David Harrington to a gathering reminded him of the great gospel singer Mahalia Jackson.

Music that is simultaneously uplifting and enjoyable. A wonderful album.

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